I used to sit at the edge of the ocean to find my rhythm. When planning my annual vacations, it was the water that called me--not so much to be in it, but to be by it. Maternal and soothing, the comings and goings of the tide was my "reset" button--you know, the one that allows you to deal calmly again with the world. Along came twins, and my exotic vacations were replaced with ventures closer to home. Being in a land-locked state, sitting by the ocean was no longer an option. How was I going to hit my reset button now? The answer was right in front of me--massage.
Anyone with recurring, unyielding back problems knows the beast that is called back pain. While most of us have experienced back pain that comes from overexertion or muscle pulls, the effects of back pain for many can be debilitating, excruciating, and life changing. Experts say back pain accounts for $100 billion in lost productivity and health-care costs each year and is one of the primary causes of work-related disability. Managing back pain can be a daunting and exhausting proposition. One natural avenue for finding relief is massage therapy.
From our first venture into the school gymnasium as kids, we’ve been taught to stretch. As adults, stretching is as common a morning routine as brushing our teeth or combing our hair.
Mind-body fitness expert Anat Baniel wants us to know how to move and stretch carefully and start our day out right. Baniel, author of Move Into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality (Harmony Books, 2009), believes excessive stretching is an activity that is contrary to the health and longevity of our muscles.
You may not recognize his name from your appointment book, but Peter Kater has likely been in your therapy room many times. His calm, distinct presence is often found in the melodic banter used to soothe clients into a relaxing, therapeutic state.
Massage therapists and bodyworkers have long recognized the importance of serving the underserved and providing bodywork to those who need it most. They know the power of the gift they offer, especially when it’s volunteered from the heart.
What kind of massage client are you? Do you make an appointment after someone has given you a massage gift certificate? Do you try to get in every now and then for a stress-relieving tune-up? Or do you see your therapist religiously—once a week, every three weeks, once a month?
While getting a massage—regardless of how often—is incredibly beneficial to your mind and body, getting frequent massage treatments is even more powerful as a healthcare ally.
"The aging of the U.S. population is one of the major public health challenges of the 21st century. With more than 70 million baby boomers in the United States poised to join the ranks of those aged 65 or older, preventing disease and injury is one of the few tools available to reduce the expected growth of healthcare and long-term care costs.”
Julie Louise Gerberding, MD, Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
We know the massage profession has changed drastically in the last 10 years, both in the number of people who utilize massage for health and relaxation purposes and the professional therapists who offer them that service. What has also changed is the number of U.S.
For massage therapists, there is no mistaking the connection between body and mind. It’s evident in each day’s work—from the client who has an emotional release in the middle of a session, to the client who recalls vivid memories as you work his scar tissue from an old injury. Massage therapists know well that the mind is a powerful ally in maintaining health and wellness. The mind is so powerful, in fact, that it can produce its own medicine for the body, and, as with meditation, when we allow the mind to become quiet, true healing can take place.
Most massage aficionados remember the trepidation that came with their first massage. What should I expect? Will I have to take off my clothes? How much do I tip?
For relative newcomers to massage, the prospect of those first visits and their unknowns can be unnerving. Here are some basic bodywork etiquette guidelines to help you get the most out of your session, create a healthy client-therapist relationship, and address some of those unknowns.